18 February 2022
After four semi finals and a last chance round, the final of Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix is set. The winners of the four semi finals and the last chance round join five pre-qualified acts to complete a final of 10. In comparison to recent years, it’s an unspectacular field, and there wasn’t even anything spectacular in the 11 eliminated songs that could improve the final. Alexandra Joner with Hasta La Vista couldn’t even win the first duel in her semi final, albeit she lost to Maria Mohn, who would win the last chance round. Mari Bølla, with the ironically titled Your Loss, at least did reach the final of the last chance round. Other than those two that stood out for me, the final isn’t really missing anything.
01 Oda Gondrosen – Hammer Of Thor
02 NorthKid – Someone
03 Anna-Lisa Kumoji – Queen Bees
04 Farida – Dangerous
05 Sofie Fjellvang – Made Of Glass
06 Frode – Black Flowers
07 Christian Ingebrigtsen – Wonder Of The World
08 Maria Mohn – Fly
09 Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf A Banana
10 Elsie Bay – Death Of Us
Bold are those that qualified from the semi finals while italics is the last chance winner.
My Gold Final
It’s a preview I nearly forgot about because I’m losing it! I lost track of the dates for several national finals. I thought Eesti Laul was this weekend (it was last weekend), Finland’s UMK 2022 was this weekend (it’s next weekend) and MGP was next weekend (it’s this weekend). Accordingly, I wrote my UMK 2022 review earlier today while neglecting MGP altogether. The Eesti Laul preview that I thought I wrote over a week in advance was only a few days in advance. In that sense, I got lucky with Eesti Laul, and at least I did finally realise MGP was this weekend. The preview is a must because I did watch all the semi finals and the second chance round. Oh for the days my memory was the ultra reliable calendar it once was. I would never forget dates, even weeks in advance.
MGP don’t have an official youtube account for their semi final performances, and not all artists have posted them to their personal accounts, so will rely on some unofficial videos here and hope they don’t get deleted. All performances can be seen on the official NRK MGP page just in case. MGP’s gold final is four songs, which is then reduced to a gold duel, and then a final voting round to determine the winner. The four for me pick themselves quite easily.
NorthKid – Someone
A very uplifting and catchy song. It’s one we’ve heard many times before, even in MGP. I was convinced Kjetil Mørland would be part of the songwriting team. He isn’t. Also, I must say, having only seen the official video now, it’s an interesting visual of the song’s narrative. Lyrics generally wash over my head and I didn’t really grasp the concept, or context, of “someone you love, now someone you hate”… until now. Of course, I could have resorted to real life experiences, of which there’s several.
Farida – Dangerous
I lovely ballad with echos of a James Bond theme. The vocals shine here even if the voice itself isn’t quite at the same level. Farida, who’s full name is Farida Bolseth Benounis, presents as the most interesting artist of the final, given her Algerian background, fashion sense and striking hairstyle. I love the green and black suit she wore in the semi final, and the dyed blonde streak in her hair. She should do well.
Sofie Fjellvang – Made Of Glass
This is Norway, so expect striking, classic Norwegian blonde girl. In a further contrast to Farida, Sofie’s voice shines even if the vocals themselves aren’t quite to the same level. Kjetil Mørland (A Monster Like Me in 2015 with Debrah Scarlett) is one of the songwriters of Made Of Glass, with Sofie the other, and his stamp is clearly recognised. A very dramatic and likeable song, and Sofie really puts all her heart into it.
Christian Ingebrigtsen – Wonder Of The World
Norway’s answer to Elton John, and it seems Elton noticed too, because, in Christian’s words: “The sickest thing I have experienced is probably when I won a Brit Award over artists like Coldplay and Craig David. Suddenly I was backstage with personal heroes like Elton John and U2, and Elton told me he had all our records!” Wonder Of The World is Elton John at the start before blooming into something quite wondrous. It’s very engaging and really gets you swaying along. In fact, it’s so engaging that towards the end when he sings “the way I look at you is the way you look at me”, I subconsciously sung the “at me” in the exact same key. Bizarre. Christian co-wrote Ulrikke’s Attention, along with Kjetil Mørland and Ulrikke herself, that won MGP 2020.
Hammer Of Thor speaks for itself in style, while being too simplistic to excel. Not much buzz for Anna-Lisa Kumoji’s Queen Bees either, with the only memorable part being something about “they can kiss our rings”. The constant “we are, we are, we are” in Black Flowers should be followed by “out of our league”. A rather banal entry, and Frode (full name Frode Vassel) has no chance to go to Eurovision in his own right after already going as a backing singer for Keiino (2019), Alexander Rybak (2018) and Jowst (2017).
Maria Mohn’s Fly is actually growing on me. Like Hammer Of Thor, it’s another trying to capture the Norse feel, except does it with an operatic style before ending with drums, flames and a huge note. Basically, armageddon. I can see this in the gold final. I understand from online reaction that Give That Wolf A Banana has quite a following. For me it’s trash. Way too simplistic and limited. Elsie Bay (who’s a blonde woman, not a band as the name suggests) rounds it off with Death Of Us. While a highly artistic entry and Elsie presents as quite accomplished, it’s not as good as it wants to be and the voice is a bit whiny.
This is really tough. Farida would be a nice story, while Sofie Fjellvang and Christian Ingebrigtsen bring superior songs. I’d be happy with any of them, with preference to either of the ladies, and then Farida as the final decision. I worry about this Subwoolfer rubbish ruining everything, and believe Maria Mohn could do really well. That she’s come from the last chance round makes voting for her extra compelling. Performing third last is a good position too.
The betting market shows Subwoolfer a dominant favourite, while online polls include Elsie Bay in the mix. These two are the final two to perform and that’s usually a strong predictor. Oda Gondrosen and Maria Mohn have some minor support. All I can say is I hope the Norwegian public don’t do anything stupid! It’s solely up to them.
The final of Melodi Grand Prix 2022 starts at 19:50 CET on 19 February.
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